Highway to Hell (Part 3)
Peering from the darkened window of the little shack that made up her childhood home, Orleans fought a wave of nausea as she struggled to remain upright. Her legs felt like jelly, and she didn't trust her knees not to buckle beneath her. She gripped the windowsill tightly till her knuckles turned white. Eyes of the lightest amber hue focused on the scenery before her in an attempt to distract herself from the horror that her life had become in a matter of hours. She was safe here, she told herself, but the hair raising sensation of being watched lingered persistently.
With Rene dead she knew the Yelley brothers would be looking for her soon. Then there was still the matter of a seemingly psychotic vampire who was no doubt searching for her as well.
Vampires are real.
She really shouldn't have been surprised. After all, she'd been able to hear everyone around her's thoughts ever since she was a little girl. She had no idea how she did it or why she could do it, but the ability was certainly there. It was one of the reasons she'd never been able to make any friends. People didn't tend to like her when she could read their minds and know their deepest, darkest secrets. What had been with that explosion of light though? She'd sent Sylar hurtling across the apartment with a burst of light that burned as hot as the sun, and she'd jumped from a third story window. What in the world was going on with her? She'd landed with feline grace in a low crouch before sprinting to the garage where she kept her bike. It had been a long shot, but she'd been grateful when her bike started with the first twist of the key. Now here she was, in the small, rural town of Amoureaux, Louisiana.
This is how she found herself in a state of paranoia, watching avidly from the window for any sign of the vampire.
They were real...
It was arrogant really, to think that humans were where the food chain ended. If someone like her could have unexplained powers, there was no telling what else was out there.
Only when the sun began filtering through the canopy of trees and painting the swamp land a brilliant golden orange as it burned away the last remnants of clinging fog did she realize she needed sleep if she was to ever get herself out of this mess. With a heavy heart, she climbed into her grandmother's old bed, ignoring the layer of dust coating everything in sight, because she just needed a familiar comfort, and sleep immediately claimed her for it's own.
Confusion set in as she looked around a large room swathed in dark velvet drapes, gold sconces rested on either side of a large oak door. She had no clue where she was, or how she'd gotten there. Warm, honey hued eyes gazed in awe at her palatial surroundings, her mouth hanging open in a small 'o'. There was an aura that shimmered whenever she moved her eyes, and things seemed warped with an almost underwater-like effect.
She wandered the halls for hours and hours, or had it only been a few minutes? She had no real way of knowing after all. Her feet carried her down long, endless corridors, and past more doors than she could count. When she reached the end of the hallway, there was only one door left, and it was slightly ajar. Inside, she saw the strangest thing, someone was standing in front of a large window. Upon her entrance, the figure moved to a door along the far wall, beckoning her with a wave of their hand. Her eyes hurt if she tried to look at them for too long. Their features seemed to shift, blurring every time she tried to focus on them.
Feeling a bit like Alice in her proverbial Wonderland, Orleans hurried after them. Eventually the man-for it they had a large, masculine shape with no hint of feminine curve to be found-turned slowly on his heel to face her after hearing her approach, and though she could not readily make out any definitive features, she was struck with a feeling of deep comfort, and immediately felt at ease near him. A quiet power emanated from his form, washing over her in warm, soothing waves. Somehow he was.. helping her, and without a word he led her down another hall...
Orleans woke with a start, breathing heavily. The sheets were twisted around her, and drenched in sweat. It took a moment to gain her bearings, and her mind raced trying to remember the dream. With a groan she rolled over and covered her head with the pillow. Yes, she was glad Rene was gone from her life, he'd been an abusive prick and she'd only been biding her time till she could get leave him. Still, the man was dead! And she just knew it was her fault.
She'd been fooled by the glamorous beauty the vampire flashed and dazzled her with, and shame flooded her. "Oh, sh*t!" She flew from the bed, cursing herself. Morning sunlight streamed through the windows, bathing the old plank wood floors in a sunny yellow.
"I can't believe I slept that long." She jumped and wiggled into her jeans, frantically stumbling around her grandmother's room. "That was one hell of a dream, girl." Old habits were hard to break and she continued running around muttering to herself beneath her breath. She had to leave the state, and fast. It was only a matter of time before the police, or Wade and Farron- Rene's brothers- came looking for her, and time was precious.
Pulling a shirt over her head, her thoughts drifted to the vampire once again. She'd read about the creatures in one of her many books, but the thought that they could even exist had never crossed her mind. Her fingers trembled slightly as she tied her boots, and she swallowed convulsively. A part of her was in denial over what happened the night before, but deep down, she knew it wasn't a dream, and Rene's brothers were going to come after her. She was more afraid of them than she was of the police. There was no way they could pin his murder on her... but Leanne and her boss at the club knew they'd fought before the show... She had to get out of there. Orleans took one last look around the old house, her mother and grandmother's things lying around as if they might return at any second and pick up right where they left off. A pang of regret and longing brought tears to her eyes and she gathered a few things she wanted to bring with her as a way to keep the two most important women of her life close to her heart. "I'm so sorry, Grandmere." The words left her lips on a broken whisper.
She put everything inside the little brown backpack she would wear on her ride out and walked out onto the front porch. Her feet stilled, and quickly she wiped the tears from her face and climbed into the little flat bottom boat floating at the other end of the porch. After paddling to the bank on the other side where her pride and joy sat concealed beneath a wall of emerald green moss, she grabbed the helmet hanging on the handlebar, and began pushing the bike back towards the main road that would lead her out of here and away from the vampire, the yelley brothers, and her sanctuary.
Several hours later on the interstate, music pulsed around her ears through the built in speakers inside her helmet. A country song came on over the radio and for some reason it plucked at her heartstrings particularly hard today.
The jokes on me, and it ain't funny.
Everybody but me could see the punch line comin' a mile away.
I've heard it so many times, I could tell it to the 'T', believe me, I could sell it all day.
It goes: A guy walks into a bar, orders a drink, sees a girl that catches his eye
Asks her if she wants another,
Fall for each other and end up lovers
Laugh, cry, make it work for awhile
Then one night the taillights fade out into the dark
A guy walks into a bar...
Lost in the emotion the song evoked within her she never saw them coming. Never heard the roar of the motor as he revved the old .354 engine and gunned it after her. Everything happened in a blur, his bumper kissed her back wheel and sent her careening down off the side of the interstate. A sickening crunch of metal and bones sounded as the pavement disintegrated the thin layer of clothes she wore. The truck engine roared as it sped off, leaving Orleans to her fate.
Her body rolled limp and broken into the grassy median, her bike landing with a hard thud on top of her. In the last remnants of her fading vision the mysterious figure from her dreams stepped forward just as she faded from consciousness. A soft smile curled over bloodied lips with an expression of peace taking over her features as her eyelids fell shut.